Let’s start with its weight. At just a little over five pounds (compared to my Shark, which was in the neighborhood of 14 pounds), the Dyson V8 is a breeze to zip around my apartment—a five-pound breeze. This really makes a difference when it comes to motivating myself to deal with any sort of mess because I know I won’t break a sweat using it. Plus, the design of the vacuum is incredibly nimble and easy to twist into corners or lie practically flat to slip under my couches and tables.
The same can be said about the vacuum’s cordlessness. I could cry thinking about how wonderful it is that I no longer have to move a cord from outlet to outlet, sometimes tripping over it, and always having to wrap it and unwrap it until I’m dizzy. Screw you, cord! Never again! And despite its cordless status, my Dyson V8 holds its charge for the amount of time I need it to—for around 40 minutes. This is plenty of time for me to do a routine cleaning of my one-bedroom apartment, which is a little under 700 square feet.
For the times when I need stronger suckage, the Dyson V8 Animal has a “max suction” feature which provides up to six minutes of intense suction. I rarely need to use this (especially since it’s a battery-drainer), but it’s come in handy for the times when I encounter a patch of my cats’ fur that’s so thick I start to worry for their health.
Speaking of cat fur: I also adore that my stick vacuum is also a hand vacuum. Of the included attachments, I find myself most often using the thin crevice tool (in between couch cushions, in the cracks near my cats’ litter box, etc.), which I store in the dock along with the combination tool (which has a wide nozzle and brush). Additionally, I have a mini motorized tool, which attacks pet hair and dirt with extra force (and a little battery usage), as well as a mini dusting brush.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the impact the Dyson has on my air. Its barrel cleverly houses a HEPA filter that sucks up allergens and produces clean air in its wake (and is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). My lungs greatly appreciate it.
The downsides of the Dyson V8 Animal
While the Dyson V8 Animal is excellent for my New York apartment, I suspect it’s not the ideal choice for anyone who owns a multiple-bedroom house. That said, there are all sorts of other (cordless) Dyson models—the bigger barrels run for up to 60 to 120 minutes on a single charge, come with tons of tools and accessories for your different floor types and needs, and even have sensors that measure dust particles in the air. They’ll cost you, though, but maybe it’s worth it.
I do wish I had space to store all of Dyson’s tools (not just two in addition to the one attached to the head). Since I don’t have the space, the tools not in use are often in a drawer and forgotten. I also wish each tool was labeled in a way that advises what it’s best used for, as I often find myself googling “what is Dyson combination tool for?” to figure out if it’s the one I need for the job.
Should you buy it?
If you’re someone who lives in a relatively small space and appreciates the ease of having a vacuum you can grab for a quick touch-up of your floors, the Dyson V8 Animal is for you. Because of how easy and hassle-free it is to use, I find myself vacuuming almost every day now, in little bits. If there are crumbs on the floor, I don’t groan or leave them there because I don’t want to deal with pulling out my monster vacuum. Instead, I whip my Dyson off the wall, do a quick run-over, and am continuously impressed and disgusted by just how much hair and tumbleweeds of dust get trapped in the canister. Dumping it all into the trash with a quick pull is oh so satisfying.